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The invasion has begun. I am at war with the field mice. In ten years of life in this house I have never seen so many mice, chipmunks, squirrels, skunks and raccoons. The roads are littered with their little bodies but it is the mice that I am particularly vexed with at the moment. Ever since I filled the garage with wood and the weather turned chilly they have invaded my space, taking up residence and boldly racing along the edges of my consciousness. I pull into the garage and they scatter. This morning as I was making coffee, I caught movement out of the corner of my eye and watched a tiny gray beast slip under the pantry door.

“Did you see that Alice! Where is Skeedles? Why aren’t you two keeping up with this problem? They are eating YOUR food, not mine!!”

Alice looked expectantly at the “door to heaven” where her meals are prepared and as the tail was disappearing. “How about you feed me and there will be less for them to eat?”

I’m a total wimp when it comes to this part of living in the country. I know of only two ways to rid my life of unwanted guests of this species, and neither is nice. Those old-fashioned snap traps are efficient and cheap. You can purchase an entire militia’s worth for roughly two bucks. Add your own peanut butter, choose an appropriate site, and you are good to go. Then you hear the snap. Or worse, have to check them only to find a guillotined body which now must be disposed of. I opted for a lovely, sleek new design. Round, black plastic domes, inviting little igloos of death that snap closed; no body, no fuss no muss. Except for that tell-tale tail caught in the door of the trap. Ewwww!

I don’t really want to come face to face with their death, it would be nice if they would just relocate. Obviously, the current inhabitants – a dog AND a cat – are no deterrent. The plastic traps are $4.00 each. Within the first hour of setting them, they were full. This was beginning to look like an expensive war, time for cheaper artillery. Chemical warfare was appealing. Some in-the-know folks advised two drawbacks to poison:

  1. “They die in the walls and stink up the house up forEVER!”
  2. The pets might encounter and interact with said toxic mice and this could be potentially disastrous

So I did some research. There is one product I can use in the garage with the nastiest of consequences for the rodents but neither of the aforementioned side affects. The mice dehydrate and desperately seek water though no amount can stop the death. Since all their fluids dry up quickly, they turn to dust-bunnies and there is no smell. As far as the other pets? Hell, if they aren’t phased by them in the kitchen I doubt a really slow one will even get a look. The dispenser is an attractive little plastic box with a clear window that shows how much of the bait has been consumed. They’ve thought of everything to calm my nerves.

With the days growing shorter, the lights come on sooner. Ghostly shadows taunt me. “Was that a mouse or a trick of the light?” I shell out the cash and bait the coffins. Two days later they are still showing “set” on their little covers, but the poison is slowly disappearing. Maybe I have won?!?!

DSC_1862
Fancy mouse coffin

 

 

22 comments on “Of Mice and (Wo)men

  1. You’re brave. Does Alice ignore them or does she get rattled?

    1. She ignores them in the house. Chipmunks near the feeders are her latest prey. I think she like a good mouthful and mice are just not worth the effort. Chippies on the other hand are fast and furious when caught!

  2. “Door of heaven” – they voted and all the paws here agree with that designation.
    It’s that time of year. I’m trying to keep the dogs from discouraging the one brave roaming cat from walking our fence evaluating the possibilities.
    Molly can snatch a mouse in mid jump if they try to leap from bush/fence/palm tree. With all the poison around we try to prevent her seeing them and walk her on leash at night ( boring to her). She’s teaching the German to hunt…the German has always monitored boxes and deliveries, but hunting live prey is now a new hobby..mud shoes to drag them out of bushes….
    The German agrees with Alice about lizards, though…walking sticks, yawn, Zzzzzzz.
    Do something in the garage! Rodents here eat water lines under car hoods! (especially if dehydrated and thirsty….we had to replace daughter’s car parts when her apt. complex set out bait)

    1. Thanks Phil, hadn’t considered the possibility of damage to the vehicle! I do hate those meeses to pieces!!

  3. Thank your lucky stars that you don’t have the number of buildings that I do to set traps in!
    There has been a real population explosion of mice this year, and they’re all moving in now that it’s cooler.

    1. Right?! I thought it was just my house but try to buy a trap these days…everyone is over-run.

      1. Maybe all the food that’s been available is having an affect.

  4. Chris says:

    Sorry, I like the satisfying SNAP of a well-baited trap.

  5. WILSON says:

    skeedles is the best cat I have ever seen on rodents ..where is she?

    1. I guess they just aren’t challenging enough, Wilson!

  6. Touring NH says:

    I’ve always been a fan of poison bait. When we used to raise rabbits, we had rats. Mice I can live with but the rats had to go! Years later, I was disassembling the cages and found empty decon boxes in the tunnels beneath the hutch floors. I’m currently trying one of those ultrasonic ones in the motorhome. Something has taken up residence in the walls. I can hear it moving around at night. Ewww.

    1. Eww is right!! I’m so paranoid these days I jump at the slightest noise.

  7. Martha, I love it that Alice looks to the “door to heaven.” Too funny. Our greatest battle with mice occurred in Asheville, NC where we were renting an apartment in an old house that was formerly a hospital. They invaded our kitchen big time. We both hated the thought of the traditional snap traps, so we opted for the glue traps. They were even worse. Staring into their little pleading eyes was just too much for us. Fortunately when our lease was up we decided to move on. But we did do serious battle with rats when we lived in Dallas, similar to your poison. No mercy for them! 🙂 ~Terri

    1. No mercy indeed! Though those glue traps are really nasty. Spent several hours just cleaning out all the drawers and cabinets in the kitchen. It gives me the shivers to see those little mouse-poops!

  8. ‘Rats’ to those mice who want to invade your space. 😉

    1. No! Please no rats Susan!!

      1. cute, funny, sweet little rats???

  9. badfish says:

    Why can’t there be a door to heaven for people is what I’m thinking. I once had a cat who had 13 kittens. Most wild. They became VERY good mousers.

    1. I could use a few of those kittens right about now badfish!

  10. Marie Keates says:

    You’d think having a cat would sort out the mice. Maybe you need to get more cats 🙂

    1. Perhaps Marie. Or maybe I will stop feeding the one I have until she gets back to work!

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